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Last week was a really hard week as we’ve been recovering slowly from the accident last Saturday. It’s made me appreciate the gift of each day and want to make the most of all the time that we are given.
In light of all this, I wanted to share a quote by one of my heroes:
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
– Corrie Ten Boom
It is easy for me, when things are hard as they are right now as I’m in a lot of pain and everyone in our family has a concussion, to start to question what God is doing with all of this. As if somehow, God couldn’t possibly use something difficult like this. But this quote and a bunch of other Bible verses pop into my mind.
If anybody had reason to “jump off the train” it was Corrie. And she didn’t. And God was good.
If you aren’t familiar with her story, it is incredibly powerful. Corrie and her family hid Jews in their home from the Nazis during World War II until they were discovered and she and her sister were imprisoned in a concentration camp and suffered horrific atrocities. Her father and sister both died and yet she was able to forgive. Through all of this, she clung to her faith and showed such grace to those around her that Christ was proclaimed in profound ways. She shared her story in her book, The Hiding Place
I first heard of Corrie Ten Boom when I was a little girl when my parents gave me a child’s version of her book. The message of trusting God even in the darkest of circumstances and giving grace to those who don’t deserve it has always stuck with me.
Even more than this though, I have always hoped that I would be able to stand up and do the right thing, as the Ten Boom family did in hiding Jews, even when the cost was high.
I think we often hope that we would have the chance to do something amazing like the Ten Booms did and we either pray that we’ll be given the opportunity or pray that such dire circumstances never come our way… maybe both.
And sometime in the past week while dealing with all the not so fun and painful aftermath of the car accident, it dawned on me. I was talking with my boys about us needing to forgive the other driver who hurt us.
The Ten Booms were the same people when they were hiding Jews as they were before the Nazis ever came to power.
They were reaching out to those around them, meeting needs, and sharing Christ as a way of life. When the needs became more desperate, they simply responded as they had been doing, this time just at a far greater personal risk.
It is easy to say that we want to forgive others in glorious circumstances like Corrie did, but it won’t happen if we aren’t doing it now. If we won’t step out of our comfort zones to help others when it is easy, there is certainly no way we are going to do it when it is hard. If we won’t talk about our faith when there is no personal cost, we will be silent when there is.
We are the same people regardless of our circumstances. This is why Corrie Ten Boom is one of my heroes; circumstances just made who she was known to all of us.
That is the amazing thing about all of this: we get to be the people we choose to be and we can live with the same kind of faith and dedication that Corrie Ten Boom did.
How we live is up to us. The impact is up to God.
This is why I try to offer snacks and drinks to anyone that comes to my door: I don’t know what they need and maybe they need someone to be Jesus to them in that instance. It is why we help in the nursery at church: we want parents to be able to think about God in church rather than worrying about their babies. It is why we do foster care: these kids need a safe place love be loved. I can’t control the impact, but I can do what I know God is calling us to do.
I don’t mean to say that I’ve got it all together with what I’m doing. I don’t. So many people do so much more and do different things; I’m no super Christian by any stretch of the imagination. I share this just because it is really inglorious and mundane: feeding people and taking care of babies. That’s all foster care really is anyways: taking care of kids and showing grace to some adults who really need it.
If you haven’t read The Hiding Place, you should. As soon as my boys learn the history of World War II, want them to read it. In this age of sports star, actor, and musician heroes, we need to remember what really matters.
And that any of us can be a hero. It just starts by following God when no one is paying any attention.
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